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Cities urge MEPs to act now to avoid another #emissions scandal

| January 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

emissionsCities are urging MEPs to act now to avoid another emissions scandal. Their call comes ahead of a vote on the EU’s Type Approval Framework Regulation set to take place in the European Parliament’s internal market (IMCO) committee on 26 January. This framework is intended to ensure all vehicles circulating on Europe’s roads meet environmental and other regulatory requirements. 

Speaking at an event in Parliament on 10 January organized by EUROCITIES, Transport & Environment and BEUC, the European consumers’ organization, Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “The current emission testing system is clearly failing. To help clean up our toxic air the EU needs rigorously to overhaul procedures and insist cars comply with legal limits. Following the Volkswagen scandal we need a more robust and independent testing regime involving regular spot checks on cars and major fines for manufacturers who cheat.

“As cities, we can only take effective action against our filthy air if the EU and member states support us with strong legislation. This will help rebuild public trust in euro standards and tackle the air pollution health crisis.”

Air pollution is Europe’s biggest environmental health challenge, contributing to more than 400,000 deaths each year. Cities are heavily dependent on EU and national legislation to improve local air quality.

Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris responsible for transport and public space, said: “Our efforts to clean up local air risk being undermined by inadequate EU legislation. We joined 19 other cities in taking the Commission to court last year over the relaxation of emissions standards. We can’t do this alone: EU laws need to be stricter if we are serious about tackling air pollution in our cities.”

The overhaul of the Type Approval Framework announced by the Commission in January 2016 is an opportunity to enforce tighter controls on vehicle emissions and ensure all cars circulating in cities comply with legal limits.

Under current rules, national authorities alone are responsible for certifying a vehicle meets all requirements to be placed on the market and for policing manufacturers’ compliance with the law. Under the new proposals, vehicle testing will become more independent and there will be greater surveillance of vehicles already in circulation.

EUROCITIES is urging the Commission to take a stronger role in overseeing the system. Recent legal action by the Commission against member states for failing to stop carmakers from cheating is a positive sign, but we can’t afford to endure lengthy legal battles to provide citizens with the clean air they deserve.

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Category: A Frontpage, Air quality, Environment, EU, UK

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